Mayor Teri Johnston and the Key West Commission joined together in recognizing the dedicated and valuable work of the Key West Wildlife Center.
For more than a quarter of a century, the center has provided wildlife rescue and rehabilitation services in the Florida Keys from Key West to Big Pine Key. They rescue an average of 1,500 native wildlife patients in distress at all hours of the day and night. In addition, they provide the same expertise and support for injured Key West chickens.
Twenty-four hours a day, a trained rescuer is ready to answer the call from the community about wildlife in need of assistance.
“This service helps ensure the future of our diverse native wildlife,” reads the proclamation, “by providing timely rescues and quality rehabilitation with the hope of release back to the wild.”
The Center's Executive Director, Tom Sweets, and Debra Babich accepted the proclamation.
“We've had such great support over the years," said Sweets. "If it weren't for the support of the community, we wouldn't be where we are today. We take this job seriously.”
The Key West Wildlife Center is located at Indigenous Park on White Street. The facility includes a huge aviary where wild birds can be rehabilitated before release. It is run by a small and dedicated staff and relies heavily on volunteers.
In addition to saving distressed critters, the center works to educate residents and visitors about ways in which they can help. They remind people, for example, to never clean a fish and throw the bones to pelicans.
The center encourages anyone who sees a distressed bird or animal to call the rescue line at 305-292-1008.